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4323Re: [campernicholson] Lightning Protection

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    Jul 5, 2008
      Hello Albert
      When 'Blue Days' (35/209) was built, Camper and Nicholson earthed the mast to an 8" x 2.5" Dynaplate, mounted adjacent to the mast on the starboard side. Originally they fitted a rather small wire but, at my request, replaced this with a wire of starter cable proportions.
      More recently I have fitted surge protection devices at the base of the mast in the downleads for all the masthead aerials. These are also earthed to the same Dynaplate. The devices, supplied by RS in England, are of the type used to protect commercial radio aerial installations and are suitable for most coax wires. They are rather expensive but much cheaper than replacing toasted electronics! Admittedly this does leave the wind speed/direction sensor unprotected but I have not found anything suitable for the multi-core wire from this.
      I don't claim any expertise in this field but assume that the action I have taken improves the chances of surviving a lightning strike without damage. To my knowledge the installation has not been put to the test but, should a strike ever happen, I hope the lightning will find that the earthed mast provides a better route to earth than the other masthead equipment which have a degree of inherent isolation.
      I hope this adds something useful to this interesting discussion.
      Michael Forsdyke

      "Albert G. Boyce" <Albert_Boyce@...> wrote:
      I am wondering what other Nicholson 35 owners have done for lightning
      protection. I have developed a keen interest in lighting protection
      after getting caught out on the Chesapeake in a thunderstorm last week
      and getting a mild electric shock at the helm while steering the boat.
      Quite a wake up call. I have hull number 132 and there is a small
      sintered bronze plate on the outside of the hull that is connected by #8
      wire to the mast.

      None of the shrouds, stays, lifelines, stanchions, or any other metal
      objects are grounded or otherwise connected to this plate

      I look forward to hearing what lightnting protection arrangements others
      have in place on their boats.

      Al Boyce
      Discovery CN35 #132

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